Volume 3, February 2021
This Newsletter is for our friends and supporters. We appreciate your ongoing interest and support and hope you enjoy this latest issue of The Spark. We have much to report in the areas of our mission and will have even more in future issues.
How far we have come
In this issue of The Spark, we outline some of the latest news about our efforts and thank you — our 33 Forever family and followers — for the continued tremendous support, financially and otherwise, as we continue to move the mission of 33 Forever forward. The future holds many opportunities to truly continue to make a difference.
Where we are headed
Because of your support and response to our mission, our efforts are expanding in the areas of Educational Programming, Community Involvement, Resource development and Advocacy. We have and are growing partnerships with secondary schools and universities, NAMI, the Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation, local mental health agenices, providers and coaltions, Nationwide Children’s Hospital and The Ohio State University and are also working with policymakers and influencers on both state and federal levels.
33 Forever, Inc. is a non- profit organization created to honor Danielle Leedy’s life and her longtime passion to raise awareness, empower and comfort those struggling with depression, anxiety, self- worth issues and sucide.
Specifically, 33 Forever’s mission is to positively impact the lives of all those affected by depression, anxiety and their related disorders, including suicidal thoughts, by promoting awareness, engaging in advocacy, providing educational programming and resources for all those struggling and their loved ones, supporting research efforts and establishing and encouraging community support.
As 33 Forever hits the 2 year mark since its inception, we continue to have tremendous support from so many – financially and otherwise.
Our organizational goals include transparency as we receive donated dollars. In that regard, our 2019 IRS Form 990 is available on our website and the “Our Finances” page.
Finances As of February 2021
Total Expenses (to date):
Total Expenses to date: $43,351.82
The 33 Forever Board of Directors is dedicated to use its funds to directly support its stated mission, programming and partnerships – including educational programs, community involvement and action and, eventually, research.
33 FOREVER BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Jeffrey Heck, Attorney
Nicholas Adams Columbus, OH
Sara Bennett, M.Ed.
Mandy Brickner, M.Ed.
Alex Leedy, L.S.W.
Sean Brickner, P.E.
Dennette Santamaria, L.S.W. Columbus, OH
VOLUNTEERS AND DONORS CONTINUE TO STEP UP
We continue to have remarkable success in fundraising and “friendraising” efforts. We hear almost daily from so many who have been impacted by Dani’s story and the issues we have touched upon. The outpouring – heartfelt messages, inspiring stories, remarkable volunteers (both professional and lay) and, of course, donations – contiues to be nothing short of amazing.
Our volunteers include experts in medicine including numerous mental health professionals, law, accounting, non-profit development, technology, media, marketing and governmental affairs, among others. Our many lay volunteers are also amazing who have simply volunteered to help with our mission. If you have already volunteered, we WILL call upon you at some point! And if you are interested in volunteering in any capacity, let us know.
33 Forever continues to be an all-volunteer effort and we pledge to be careful stewards of your contributions. To our donors — please know that your donations are seeds that are sewn into good soil. It is a responsibility that we take very seriously. Most of donations we receive are relatively modest – $10, $33 or, perhaps, $50. We have also been blessed with some larger financial supporters but, truly, this is a true “grass roots” effort and every single donation – no matter the amount – makes a difference.
If you have already contributed to our casue — THANK YOU! If you want to help on a regular basis, please consider becoming a “Sustaining Member” by schedulng a monthly tax deductible contribution. You can do so by visiting the “Donate” section of our website at www.33forever.life and filling out the form as indicated to make that scheduled donation. All of our “Sustaining Members” receive special benefits, 33 logo swag and special recognition on our website.
If you have not yet contributed, please consider doing so at the DONATE link above or by mailing a check to: 33 Forever, Inc., 1 Marion Avenue, Suite 215, Mansfield, OH 44903
EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS EXPAND
We continue to expand our educational programming and support. We sponsor educational programming to numerous middle school and high school students, parents and staff through NAMI – Richland County, as well as directly through 33 Forever. Nationally, NAMI has a program for middle school and high school students and staff called “Ending The Silence.” This program increases awareness and provides practical advice and help to students and stafff dealing with depression, anxiety, self-worth issues, suicidal thoughts and other mental health struggles, whether themselves or their peers.
In 2020, even during the pandemic, we sponsored the “Ending The Silence” program at 7 different Richland County secondary schools and colleges. In those programs, we reached approximately 402 students and 128 staff.
33 Forever also provides direct educational programming as well to high school students and staff and college students, faculty and staff at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio State – Mansfield, Miami University, Heidelberg University and University of Kentucky, among others. This effort is also expanding.
33 Forever sponsors and underwrites the NAMI on Campus at the Ohio State Mansfield Campus. NOC is a student group dedicated to mental health awareness, support and education. The group seeks to normalize mental health conversations, equip individuals with mental health resources and create a culture accepting and supportive of those with mental health concerns.
Our NOC chapter presently meets twice monthly by Zoom due to COVID-19. One of these meetings, called “Mind Matters,” is a support group atmosphere facilitated by trained student peers. The other monthly meeting is educational — featuring speakers and relevant mental health topics. The group also organizes projects to create mental health engagement, awareness and support on campus.
Finally, 33 Forever presently awards 4 scholarships — called “The 33 Forever Scholarship in Honor of Danielle Leedy” — to high school seniors. 3 of these scholarships are awarded in Richland County, Ohio and 1 in Pickaway County, Ohio. Details are on the 33 Forever website.
33 Forever is committed to continuing to do its part to make a difference in this critical areas — just as our inspiration, Dani, always saw herself doing.
We have developed tremendous local partnerships. We have active and close working relationships with the Richland County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board, NAMI Richland County, numerous local mental health providers, both nonprofit and for profit, who provide resources and referral options to those who reach out to help from us. 33 Forever representatives are members of the Richland County Suicide Prevention Coalition and are supporters of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and its North Central Ohio “Out of The Darkness Walk.” We continue to expand those relationships.
One of our latest partnerships is the establishment of the 33 Forever Professional Advisory Committee. This Committee, estabished by the Board, includes mental health professionals from both the public and private sectors and profit and non-profit worlds. Our goal is to leverage this professional expertise and guidance to keep 33 Forever and its acitivites consistent with the “best practices” in the mental health.
On a statewide level, 33 Forever representatives have been selected to sit on the Boards of statewide organizations NAMI Ohio and the Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation. 33 Forever has also developed a close working relationship with The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Health, whose staff also provide us critical mental health resources and referral options. We also enjoy a close working relationship with a member of the Sports Psychology staff of The Ohio State University Athletic Department. Further, our relationship with Nationwide Children’s Hospital Behavioral Health and its “On Our Sleeves” program continues to grow as well, providing us key resources and referral options for young people.
We are also fortunate to have developed support and key connections in the Ohio General Assembly as well as other well-placed federal, state and local legislative and governmental connections to help us to be a part of important mental health conversations with real-life stories to give those governmental officials more than just a sterile impersonal discussions of funding and programs but a better understanding of those they are directly impacting and serving. These relationships provide us even more access to a seat at the tables in mental health discussions and advocacy efforts.
COMMUNITY EVENT PLANS CONTINUE
In addition to the tremendously successful annual golf outing, online silent auction and chairty event that was able to take place and even grow during the pandemic in 2020, 33 Forever is engaging with the community in many other ways. It has active plans to work directly with the RIchland County Cororner’s office to provide critical and badly needed resources for suicide survivors early after their loss of a family member or friend.
Also in the works are plans for community forums in conjunction with those working daily in the mental health world and other community events supporting mental health awareness and suicide prevention. Obviously, the scheduling of events has been hampered by COVID-19 but our planning continues regardless. These events will be scheduled when possible and will appear on our events page and in both the media and social media.